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on January 22, 2017
Brewing good tea is finicky. You need just the right temperature for steeping it; the tea leaves need to have room to breathe; and you must absolutely, positively take them out at the right time. Other than that, it's easy.

This appliance tries to take the art out of tea making. I mean that in a good way. You tell it "tea, black, medium", pour in the water and put in the tea leaves, and it does the rest. (If you're fancy, you can say "180 degrees, 3:30 minutes" instead.) It heats the water, drops the tea basket into it, leaves it there for the allotted time, pulls it out again, and beeps. You pour the tea. It can keep what's left warm for you.

It works surprisingly well, actually. Even delicate green teas come out flavorful and fresh. Black teas are not over-steeped (unless you ask for that, of course). You can make a single mug (aka two tea cups) just fine - even though only the bottom of the basket is in the water, infusion still works well. Or you can make a dozen cups; there's a mode that keeps moving the basket up and down in the water to ensure maximum contact.

To me, the best feature of this device is also, perhaps, controversial. It automates the tea making process; you can set it up, walk away, and when it beeps, your tea is ready to enjoy. It takes the ceremony out of the tea-making. Without the lifting-the-basket-when-it-is-time feature, you pretty much have to stand there and watch the tea brew. A minute of contemplation and reflection, all wiped out by technology. I guess that's progress...

Of course nothing is perfect. The carafe itself cleans up easily, but the spent tea leaves will cling tenaciously to the inside of the metal basket, requiring vigorous scrubbing with a suitable kitchen brush to get them out. That's mildly annoying. Perhaps Breville should design a custom-shaped brush to go with this basket. (Perhaps someone else should?) Of course, you can let the tea dry in its basket and then it'll drop right out, but that would take hours.

Five stars for the quality of the tea, the design, and the general convenience. Minus one star for the annoyance of cleaning up the tea basket afterwards. A very good device. Recommended even for picky tea drinkers.

-- perry
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on January 18, 2018
I bought this in 2013 and I have no complaints at all. We love this tea maker and use it a couple of times a day. We have order our loose teas online from Capital Teas or Whispering Pines and there instructions for brewing times and temperatures are easily adaptable. The tea maker allows you to customize the minutes and the boiling temperature to suit the kind of tea you are brewing. What really makes a good cup is the boiling temperature and the amount of time the tea is steeped and this tea maker takes all the guesswork out of it. I haven't had any issues in cleaning the insides to remove the tannins with baking soda as recommended but I see now they have packets you can buy that reviews say work even better. I would highly recommend it.
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on January 16, 2018
The best kitchen gadget ever! If you love loose leaf tea, this is for you! It’s quick and easy to set up, the water boils in record time and you can set the brewing time to your liking. I also like watching the basket go up and down inside the pot! It’s like magic! LOL! The only “con” is that it doesn’t keep the tea as warm as I would like with the warming feature, but all things considered, the pros outweigh the one con. It’s also a beautiful Appliance in our beverage center. I don’t know how we lived without this one! It is pricey, but sometimes you just gotta spoil yourself! I found this by accident on Amazon, that was a lucky day!
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on January 16, 2018
Purchased this as a gift. She has been using it everyday and likes the times start to have tea brewed when she is ready for it in the morning.
Worth the expense if you are brewing loose teas on a daily basis. Simple to set up and easy to clean.
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on September 3, 2014
This is a great tea maker, but costs more than I think it's worth. I would have purchased a cheaper model if I could have found one that automatically starts in the morning. That's the only feature that sets this one apart from the others.

A lot if people complain about the plastic on the basket, buts it's only on the rim and the basket kid so it's plenty sturdy and never touches the tea. I don't have any issues with this.
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on September 23, 2016
It's okay. Very expensive. Doesn't keep tea very warm
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on February 15, 2016
I gave up coffee a few years ago and had been looking for a tea maker that could brew the tea in the morning before I get up for work.
I love this tea maker because i can set it the night before and it makes the the tea at 530am before I get up for work. the engineering that went into making this tea kettle is really impressive.
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on October 14, 2015
I cannot say enough of how much I love this tea maker! Yes it's pricey, but if you're like me who only buys loose leaf tea and makes it every day, it is so worth it. I've used it everyday for 6 months and I have not one complaint. I also purchased a small strainer that fits perfectly over my china teapot so no particles get in. I bought it from Amazon "CIA Masters Collection 3-1/4-Inch Very Fine Mesh Strainer". Yes I use a china teapot everyday along with my china cups. Drinking tea for me is an experience and I like to pamper myself. I sip my tea, read my bible, and feel a little bit of heaven.
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on May 31, 2013
I love this thing! I've only had it for two days, but I've made 3 types of tea and they are all delicious! It heats the water very quickly and I find using the machine very intuitive. It was also wonderful to wake up on the morning with perfectly steeped green tea waiting for me using the auto start feature. It is also very sleek looking in my kitchen with the stainless steel and LED lights. To comment on some of the bad reviews I read, mine did not have a chemical taste, but I cleaned it per the instructions before I used it. In addition, the packaging on mine says that all plastic parts that come in contact with water or tea are BPA free, which I was originally concerned about. If you are a regular tea drinker I would highly recommend this. As I mentioned, I've only had it two days so will update in the future on its longevity.
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on October 22, 2013
I will not sugar coat it, this thing is expensive.

You can brew a cup of delicious tea for much cheaper. However, I find that in the mornings I simply dont have much time to get ready for work. I love to have a cup or two of tea in the mornings (and quite a few more through the day as long as I have a good flavor around) and the time crunch was preventing this. So, enter this device.

Load up the tea maker at night, set the timer, delicious tea in the morning.

Is your morning brew worth this price? That has to be up to you to decide. The other features (auto steep timer, adjustments for type of tea, and the oh-so-awesome automatic tray system) are excellent, but no one of them is exactly hard to do on your own, or with a hot water boiler (which are considerably cheaper). In the end, I think that the choice you need to make is how much you enjoy the act of brewing it by hand vs. having the brew ready for you. I still have times where I go back to the more traditional style when I want to make more than the 1200ml that can be produced here, or when I simply have time to kill. However, the Breville has certainly taken on the vast majority of my tea making, and done so quite well over the past months.
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